In this case, I must have left the back door not fully latched. And if it's not fully latched, Hobbes will haggle at it and let himself in. Well, that's what he did, and I found it standing open about a foot, on Sunday afternoon. And no Circe. I was hoping she was just sleeping somewhere obscure, but I wasn't so lucky. Sunday night, I had a strange dream of my father with his Yorkshire terrier and a female Siamese cat. I was hoping it was Violet, who was always a favorite of his, and is on the Other Side with him and the Yorkie. But it didn't make me feel better.
Sunday, I papered the neighborhood with signs, and talked to lots of neighbors. One neighbor on the next street said she and her son heard a cat howling piteously about 7 am, that morning. I'm willing to bet it was Circe. The good part was I got to meet a lot of people in the neighborhood I didn't know before. Interestingly, a lot of them know me as "the apple tree lady" or the "halloween lady." I love my neighborhood. Leigh next door runs a pet-sitting service, and put the word out to her people. One of them thought she might have seen Circe early Monday morning, socializing with the neighborhood stray. I kept covering the neighborhood, but the sun went down with still no sign of her.
But at 10:30 last night, a pathetic meow came from the screen room. I had left the door open, in case she wandered back. A very dirty cat-face peered in the bedroom window. I went outside, closed the door to the screen room, and gave thanks. She looked like she'd been dragged through a succession of cellars, dirty, covered in cobwebs and debris. And burrs and stickers, I was soon to find out. She was not happy and hid for a while. When she rejoined society, I started to brush her and clean her up. Which she liked until I found the stickers. After being somewhat de-burred, she went and hid again. I went out and took down the fliers in the immediate neighborhood before going to bed.
This morning, Circe was her usual charming and flirtatious self. I filled in Leigh, chatting with her through her kitchen window. She was relieved, too. We're both hoping she was traumatized enough not to do this one again. (I sure was...) Is my LJ icon holding her VERY firmly, now?